Women and the Military: Implications for Demilitarization in the 1990s in South Africa


Cock, Jacklyn. 1994. "Women and the Military: Implications for Demilitarization in the 1990s in South Africa." Gender & Society 8 (2): 152-69.

Author: Jacklyn Cock


Militarization--the mobilization of resources for war--is a gendering process. It both uses and maintains the ideological construction of gender in the definitions of masculinity and femininity. This article draws on material from contemporary South Africa to illustrate the relation between gender and militarization in four respects: how women actively contribute toward the process of militarization; the similarities in the position of women in both conventional and guerrilla armies; the durability of patriarchy and the fragility of the gains made for women during periods of war; and, finally, how the South African experience sharpens the debate about the relation between equal rights and women's participation in armies. The article concludes that there is no necessary relation between demilitarization and gender equality.

Topics: DDR, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarization, Non-State Armed Groups, Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 1994

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